The Atheist’s Gift Giving Guide

I don’t take donations, and I don’t have a Patreon page. But what I would like to ask is that you consider my two books as possible gifts this holiday season.

Both books are novels that explore Christian apologetics, and if you enjoy the material at this blog, you’ll appreciate the critique given to the Christian position in these books. Perhaps someone on your holiday list needs a copy. Or perhaps you know a blogger or journalist who might be able to provide a little PR love.

girl helping with Christmas tree

The apologetic argument becomes another character in Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey. It’s the story of a young man torn between two mentors and struggling to maintain his Christian worldview in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This earthquake was actually predicted by a real church, and the novel takes off from this historic event.

A Modern Christmas Carol is a reworking of the Dickens classic, in which a shrewdly successful televangelist receives unexpected Christmas visitors: first, his long-dead partner, and then three ghostly guides. Finally able to acknowledge the shallowness of his message and doubts he has long suppressed, he makes amends with far-reaching consequences.

Christmas topics

Here are a few Christmas-y posts:

  • The virgin birth story is always in the list of supposedly fulfilled biblical prophecies. When you actually read it, however, it’s startling how many ways this claim falls apart.
  • The War on Christmas™ seems to come sooner every year, doesn’t it? Some Christians seem to enjoy being offended, and the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is a professional at it. Literally—it’s his job. In one end-of-the-year survey, he thought he found a juicy factoid with which to attack the atheists, but it blew up in his face.
  • Stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt demolished a pop Christmas song and taught an important lesson about how God doesn’t work: “How Christianity Infantilizes Adults.”
  • A parable about two kids arguing about evidence for Santa has interesting parallels with evidence for Jesus. Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss Jesus as well.

We cannot know that Santa definitely doesn’t exist.
This is technically true.
But what’s your best guess?
Go on. Be bold.
— Ricky Gervais

Image credit: Donnie Ray Jones, flickr, CC

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nos482
  • Both books are well worth reading.
    Just my two cents.

  • Pofarmer

    So my wife comes home with a book called “Get us out of here” which is about a “mystic” named Maria Simma who apparently talks to people in purgatory. Or something. Among the useful tidbits are that you should take communion in your mouth instead of taking it in your hands because you could wipe bits of Jesus on your pants. Shit you not.

    • Greg G.

      What does the priest do with the bits of Jesus on his hands? Does he wash his hands and send Jesus into the sewer system?

      • ThaneOfDrones

        Catholic churches have a special drain that does not go into the sewer for exactly that purpose. I shit you not.

        linky

        Interestingly, this same reasoning governs the disposition of the Holy Eucharist. In each sacristy, there is a sacrarium, which is a sink which does not drain into the sewer system, but directly into the ground. If, for some reason, the priest had to dispose of a Sacred Host, he would dissolve the Host completely in water and then rinse it down the sacrarium with water. For instance, once when I was distributing Holy Communion at the nursing home, one of the elderly patients wanted to receive Holy Communion as usual but for some reason on this occasion could not swallow. She proceeded to expectorate the Sacred Host onto a linen purificator. When I returned to the Church, I dissolved the Sacred Host in water and then rinsed it down the sacrarium with water.

      • Pofarmer

        They actually have a very special towel fot that that is blessed and washed in a specific way. Can’t remember the name of it right now.

      • Len

        I thought Jesus was already everywhere.

        • Greg G.

          Good point. If Jesus is everywhere, why do Catholics need to wash him down into a sacrarium? He is already in the sewers.

        • Pofarmer

          Because metaphysics.

    • Yeah–wiping Jesus off on your pants is gross. Eating him is respectful, though. Ditto for drinking his blood.

      Shit you not.

      Which you will actually do with Jesus after you eat him. That is, after a day or two of eating him.

      • Pofarmer

        My wife literally told me she needed to eat Jesus to feed her soul. That’s what the school started telling the kids. They need to eat Jesus everyday. I wish I was making it up.

      • guadalupelavaca

        Smug!

    • guadalupelavaca

      I once saw a speech by Richard Dawkins in which he said Catholics should be mocked for believing the host was Jesus.

      • adam

        People mocked for believing that MAGIC is real?

        You dont say?

      • Pofarmer

        And?

      • Joe

        I don’t always agree with Dawkins, but this is one instance where he’s correct.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Of course. Because only people who hate would want to mock someone for a belief. It’s why you, and Dawkins, are Hatetheists. I would never think to mock an atheist for his beliefs. Do what you want. I’m not here to judge. But apparently Dawkins and some of his followers feel differently.

        • Joe

          You don’t think that some beliefs, like the one being discussed here, are ridiculous?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Maybe it is ridiculous. But only a hateful person would attack someone for it.

        • Tommy

          Or not.

        • Greg G.

          It would be a sign of respect if someone explained to you why a belief was wrong. If you continued to try to make others believe that despite being shown reason and evidence that you were wrong, you would be inviting ridicule.

          When a person comes to an atheist forum to make ridiculous arguments, they invite ridicule. If a person comes to an atheist forum and makes interesting arguments, they will get interesting replies.

        • guadalupelavaca

          That’s not even close to what I said. I said Dawkins told the crowd to mock Catholics merely because they believed the host was the body of Jesus. That’s it. He said that at an atheist forum. There were no Christians there arguing with him. You are correct that it would be respectful to explain to someone why a belief was wrong. But Dawkins wasn’t doing that. He just told the people to mock. Mocking is not respectful.

        • adam

          ” I said Dawkins told the crowd to mock Catholics merely because they believed the host was the body of Jesus. ”

          People mocked for believing that MAGIC is real?

          You dont say?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Haters gonna hate. Which is why I label it hatetheism.

        • adam

          And stupid people are going to believe in MAGIC as long as idiots like you tell them it is the hatred of others and not the stupidity of believing in MAGIC.

        • Greg G.

          The quotemine version is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPqqp8KVuQU .

          The whole speech can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq7rHRplZKU .

          Dawkins starts about 10:25.

          At one point, he says, “I like to quote the British journalist Johann Hari who said, ‘I have so much respect for you that I cannot respect your ridiculous ideas.’”

          Dawkins says he does not despise believers at 17:25.

          The transcript ( https://ladydifadden.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/transcript-of-richard-dawkins-speech-from-reason-rally-2012/ ) of the part that begins around 24:15:

          So when I meet somebody who claims to be religious, my first impulse is: “I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you until you tell me do you really believe — for example, if they say they are Catholic — do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?” Mock them! Ridicule them! In public!
          Don’t fall for the convention that we’re all too polite to talk about religion. Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits.

          Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.

          Some Christians believe some very absurd things. Do you point out their errors and show how absurd they are? Why or why not?

          If you believe the Bible, you should try to get Christians on the same page. They should all agree to such a degree that the rest of the world would be impressed enough to believe, too. You shouldn’t believe me, though, you should believe the Bible, specifically, the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John:

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          You should be debating other Christians rather than atheists. Atheists require evidence, which you haven’t any, while Christians do not, so it makes more sense to try to convince them. Until you are successful, then Jesus is the biggest prayer failure of all time.

          Or do you realize in the back of your mind that you have beliefs that are no more justified than those held by other Christians that you consider to be absurd? Most of the absurdities in Christian religions are based on Bible verses.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I want to point out something to you. Yes I agree some parts of Christianity make no logical sense. But it is not my job to argue or debate with any Christian. I believe in the rights of individuals. Nor do I debate with atheists. I have asserted that atheism is wrong. What I say here about atheism is that the majority of people who post are very hateful. It’s because that’s really all you have. Unlike the religious blogs where they talk about God, atheists have no God. So they default to attacking, ridiculing, and mocking those who do believe. Hate has become your religion.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Yes I agree some parts of Christianity make no logical sense. But it is not my job to argue or debate with any Christian.

          Do you want Jesus to be the greatest prayer failure of all time? Do you not care that he is? It’s OK. The New Testament Epistles are just midrash built from the Old Testament that was a cycle of midrash built from mistaken beliefs. The gospels are just fiction.

        • Greg G.

          I have asserted that atheism is wrong.

          All you have to do is show evidence that there is a god but all you can do is make the assertion. You can’t show that your religious beliefs are not anything but imagination.

          Unlike the religious blogs where they talk about God, atheists have no God. So they default to attacking, ridiculing, and mocking those who do believe.

          So you prefer when people are polite about nonsense and hate those who point out that it is nonsense.

          Hate has become your religion.

          I think everyone should have the freedom to believe what they want. It should be like the freedom to swing your fist. That freedom ends at the next person’s nose. I don’t hate it when people believe nonsense but I do hate it when they use that nonsense to inhibit the freedom of others.

        • guadalupelavaca

          First, I am not here to debate the existence of God. I know that is what atheists love to do. Nor do I say you are wrong for not believing. I say you are wrong for the manner in which it is done.

        • Pofarmer

          RRRIIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTTTTT. How would you prefer to be disagreed with? You do understand that if Christians weren’t pushing their faith into the public square this wouldn’t be an issue, right?

        • Pofarmer

          So you prefer when people are polite about nonsense and hate those who point out that it is nonsense.

          Until their nonsense disagrees sufficiently with the other nonsense and then the torches and pitchforks come out.

        • adam

          ” What I say here about atheism is that the majority of people who post
          are very hateful. It’s because that’s really all you have.”

          What we have is truth, and YOU WANT to BELIEVE that that is hate so that you can feel persecuted.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d47bdac06965de479cd038c1fdc442aa84fe4346c1618a49d9cec5b73c53715c.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          Martyrbation.

        • Kodie

          Don’t you think it’s the Christians who are hateful? You know what kinds of shitty things they say to and about atheists? They repeat bullshit taught to them at church meant to keep them frightened from atheism ever “happening” to them. They think we are meaningless and pointless and when we open our mouths, hateful to them. Really, you just have it fucking backwards.

        • adam
        • TheNuszAbides

          and people trained to pretend that thoughts can be crimes, and that their beliefs are their identity, are ridiculously sensitive to mockery of beliefs. beliefs don’t inherently deserve respect.

        • Kodie

          Aren’t you an adult? Why do you believe stupid things?

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          Disagreeing with someone, especially when reasons are given for the disagreement, is not hatred. If you climbed off of your high horse and realized that atheists not being impressed by some of the claims of theism, particularly Catholicism, is not hatred, this discussion would be a lot more friendly.

          For instance, Catholics believe that Mary was taken bodily into Heaven. Do you know how this bit of dogma came about? In 452 the Byzantine emperor, Marcian, ordered the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Juvenal, to send some relics of Mary to Constantinople. Juvenal couldn’t find any Marian relics and told Marcian there weren’t any because Mary was assumed to Heaven. The truly miraculous part then happened, Marcian bought that song and dance. Flash forward almost exactly 1500 years. In 1952, Pope Pius XII made the ex cathedra pronouncement that the Assumption was official doctrine that all Catholics were required to accept. So an excuse became part of Catholic dogma. Do you think that this dogma, especially considering its origin, should be considered as anything but funny by non-believers? I assure you that many Protestants, who don’t accept the Assumption, are not impressed by Catholic insistence of its truth. Why should atheists be any different?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Dawkins said to mock. Mocking is not merely disagreeing. It is hateful.

        • MNb

          Yup, you are a hateful arrogant jerk, now you have declared yourself the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes hateful and what doesn’t.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Disagreeing with your holy high priest Dawkins has clearly offended you. You retort with anger and insults. You are not only hateful, but an angry one at that.

        • adam

          “Disagreeing with your holy high priest Dawkins has clearly offended you. ”

          Darwin is an atheist, not a holy high priest.

          YOU are an IDiot.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f1aee1f6a7ece67690141d74adb3c45ceb54b7106bd54c8973750c1c04bd3bf8.jpg

        • MNb

          “your holy high priest Dawkins”
          You are mocking me.
          According to your own false equivalence you are hateful.
          Still you are the one who is offended.
          You are incapable of living up to your own moral standard.
          Such a failure.

          “clearly offended” “with anger”
          Thanks for confirming that you are an arrogant jerk – you think you understand my emotions better than I myself.

        • Susan

          Disagreeing with your holy high priest Dawkins

          And I took the trouble to point out that many people here actually dislike him. That he was no high priest. In my view, a biologist who made great strides in explaining biology to the public, and a person who showed great patience engaging with creationists in public, more patience than most people would have, and who was trained in raising controversial points for discussion and did so.

          Another human being. I think a pretty impressive human, if you look at his body of work. Others here don’t agree and I’m not sure why. But I’m not going to go into that.

          To not believe in claims about gods doesn’t require a high priest.

          It only requires that people who believe in them can’t define their terms and support them.

          You retort with anger and insults.

          What’s fascinating is that I and many others here have attempted to explain our position, that you accuse of us hatred for having it, that you feel no obligation to support your position and that you accuse us of hatred for asking you to do so.

          You also ignore the implications of that position (pedophile protectors kept safely away from justice, campaigns against condoms in Africa, women doing life sentences for having miscarriages in El Salvador, etc) and accuse anyone who brings it up of being a “hater

          .
          _

        • Kodie

          Well it’s because you have nothing to do but be a bitter stupid fucking asshole. We have lived in a world where Christians hate, fear, and smear us forever, try to convert us, ignore that we even exist, ignore the possibility that anyone near them could possibly not believe there’s a fairy in the sky, and fuck up politics, nature, science, education, FOR FOREVER, while you apparently enjoyed this glorious privilege without any irony, and you have a problem with us talking about what stupid fucks they are to believe a cracker is their zombie god? Are you an adult or a toddler? Waaaaahhh!!!! Atheists are sooooooo meeeeeeaaaannnn!!!!! WAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

        • Doubting Thomas

          Some people believe dumb shit. Pointing that out isn’t hateful, it’s informative. The problem is that most people don’t like having their idiocy pointed out to them and, instead of changing their beliefs to something less dumb, simply label the other person as hateful.

          You might recognize this behavior.

        • guadalupelavaca

          What don’t you understand about the words ridicule and mock? Those are hateful words, unless you’re a denier.

        • Doubting Thomas

          What don’t you understand about believing dumb shit. It’s dumb. Unless you’re a denier.

          At least be glad that it’s the atheistic type of hate you’re getting. It’s just words. The Catholic type of hate requires a stake and a fire.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Jesus knew that Dawkins and all of his followers like you would hate Chritians. He said, ” Blessed are you who are ridiculed in my name.” Matthew 5:11. Thank you all for strengthening my fait in Jesus. Thank you.

        • Doubting Thomas

          You’re welcome. Allow me to also introduce you to the term “backfire effect.”

          The backfire effect is a name for the finding
          that, given evidence against their beliefs, people can reject the
          evidence and believe even more strongly. The phrase was first coined by
          Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I don’t know what blogs you were reading. And gee, English is my second language. At no time were we ever discussing evidence of God. We were discussing the hateful manner of atheists toward believers. Were in the world did you get that. FYI i don’t engage in debates about the existence of God. It is a waste of time. 2 sides arguing about something in which there is no physical evidence either way. It is the height of insanity.

        • Doubting Thomas

          You know what sort of things leave no physical evidence?

          Things that don’t exist.

        • Kodie

          Without evidence, why shouldn’t your beliefs be mocked? You apparently believe them for the shallowest of reasons.

        • adam

          “Jesus knew that Dawkins and all of his followers like you would hate Chritians.”

          Spiderman knew it too!

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8638fdedfe8fad3b245ca0981085794967c878d6bfba020d03d8b426a1c98936.jpg

        • Greg G.

          I provided the video for you and even told you where to start watching to see the context in which Dawkins was speaking. But you still seem to prefer maintaining your beliefs rather than facing the actual evidence.

        • adam

          She WANTS to have FAITH.

          Truth just interferes with that.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I did watch it. I know that English is my second language but where did I misunderstand him? Did he not say mock and ridicule?

        • Pofarmer

          Is this surprising?

        • Greg G.

          I am SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED!

        • adam

          Your winnings, sir!

        • Greg G.

          Oh, thank you very much.

          Everybody out at once.

        • MNb

          Jesus also knew that his own followers were likely to become hypocrites – hence Matth. 7:1-5. You are a fine example of this.
          You are welcome if I strengthened your faith – I have no intent at all to rob you from it. However I think it rather pathetic that you need a bunch of semi-anonymous atheists on internet, whom you very likely have never met and never will meet in daily life, to strengthen your faith.
          So I return the compliment – thanks again for confirming my bias against christians on internet.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Actually, I need all the help I can get.

        • MNb

          More hypocrisy – you pretend to be totally certain, but your faith is oh so weak and vulnerable.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but of course, within her delusion that mockery and ridicule directed at ideas can only be hate and hostility toward the entire person holding them.

        • Kodie

          The only reason you don’t want to be an atheist is because your religion poisoned you against it. Then you went and “proved it” to yourself by coming on like a raging case of hemorrhoids, and surprised/not surprised at the feedback treating you like the piece of trash you are. You don’t have evidence, you don’t want to discuss anything, you just want to hate atheists for hating you for believing in stupid shit, and you get your validation by provoking people with your prejudice against us.

          Other than that, I think you don’t really believe in god. You believe whatever’s not atheist. Weak reasoning! We prefer evidence.

        • Doubting Thomas

          You should believe that I’m magic and can cure mentally ill people by casting demons into pigs. If you do believe such things, people will ridicule you. And when people ridicule you, you’ll know I’m telling the truth because I prophesied that people would ridicule you.

          I like this game.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Only hateful people will ridicule me. Most people have their own lives to live and don’t really care about what I believe.

        • Michael Neville

          So if someone thinks you’re being silly that’s HATEFUL. You really are an immature whiner if you can’t accept criticism of you or your beliefs.

        • adam

          Obviously her views arent strong enough to accept criticism.

        • Pofarmer

          Not accepting criticism is largely just being Catholic. Ignorant Arrogance.

        • Pofarmer

          Most people wouldn’t give two shits what you, or anyone else believes, if they didn’t try to make public policy around it.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          Think about your behavior. Mostly people are reacting to you because you behave like an asshole. It has nothing to do with your religion at all.

        • Joe

          +1 here. This commetor has a view of atheists as hateful and won’t be dissuaded of that fact.

        • adam

          “Think about your behavior.”

          But THAT is the problem.
          She WANTS to be persecuted, so that she can PRETEND that that validates her beliefs in MAGIC.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/965eac18517e1c56f26ea20db7617fa4ca7e41283944759ef2242621938bfbd6.png

        • Kodie

          That’s how marketing works. That’s how you got sucked deeper into your cult. You want validation for your hatred of atheists, you come here being an asshole to everyone, being an uninformed and uninteresting and totally insulting asshole, but you think you’re a good person doing good. All you do is hate atheists for speaking, and guess what, there’s a bible passage to make you feel validated and exceptional! It’s still a dumb cult for dummies.

        • adam

          Jesus knew that guadalupelavaca would be an asshole AND a hater, He said:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04e5ae761fe126105b4d80b68041c49653909ef1043f9de201675c854345be9a.jpg

        • guadalupelavaca

          So you admit that the atheists hate.

        • Doubting Thomas

          When you define hate as “they said some mean words about what I believe” then people have been hating all over here.

          Of course, your definition of hate is ridiculous.

        • Kodie

          When something is really dumb, why beat around the bush? You believe in Santa Claus like a child. If you’re going to hang around being a turd, I don’t have to tell you nicely.

        • Pofarmer

          The real problem is that people believe dumb shit in large groups. Often the leaders of these large groups are called preachers or priests. The people that listen to the leaders feel justified because these powerful people believe it too.

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          First of all, Dawkins is one atheist. No other atheist is Richard Dawkins. So for you to accuse us of being Dawkins is just plain silly.

          Second, stop whining because you’re being mocked. It’s not hateful to point out that your beliefs are (a) unevidenced and (b) quite silly. Just because you don’t like something someone says doesn’t mean they’re being hateful. I think you need to grow up. No, silly person, I don’t care how old you are, right now you’re acting like you’re six years old with your whines about “you’re mocking me, that’s HATEFUL!!1!”

        • guadalupelavaca

          Dawkins didn’t just say disagree with them. If that is all he said we wouldn’t be having this conversation. He said to ridicule and mock. I wasn’t that shocked to hear Dawkins say that. I’m shocked that so many here defend him. I don’t have any physical evidence of God but to me he is real because he helped to get me sober. So now I should be mocked and ridiculed for that?

        • adam

          ” He said to ridicule and mock.”

          Ridicule and mock people who believe that MAGIC is real?

          Do tell…..

        • guadalupelavaca

          So Adam, you agree that it is permissible to hate people who believe in the nonexistence fantasy of friends in the sky?

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          You got you sober. God is a psychological crutch.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, the Catholic church in the past has, uhm, killed people for disagreeing with it’s Dogma. But that’s not hateful. Not at all. The Catholic Church held women as slaves for various offenses, but that’s not hateful. The Catholic Church forced single mothers into Orphans homes where the death rates of the babies that were born were atrociously high. But that’s not hateful. Catholic Organization stole babies from single mothers and sold them on the adoption market. But that’s not hateful. The Catholic Church has someone in high office in the Vatican that was convicted in absentia on a huge Sexual Abuse scandal. But that’s not hateful. Fuck. You. And your ridiculous beliefs.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Oooo…your hate spews forth.

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          Really? You really are a troll.

        • Kodie

          You hate atheists, and that’s why you’re here – to validate your hatred by behaving like an asshole.

        • adam

          “and that’s why you’re here”

          2 Timothy 3:12

          Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

          She’s just TRYING to desire to live a godly life…..

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1ce7eff8f83aa08e1f4ac1a224e2429fd72ddbb1be4059823fa1b3b990b8f92.jpg

        • adam
        • guadalupelavaca

          All you just did is give justification for being hateful. They were bad so now I’m going to be hateful. Don’t you all understand. This is the main thing Jesus talked against.

        • adam

          “All you just did is give justification for being hateful. ”

          No that is what you are giving

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fc7ae814c0160c0c443e448af14c3b39fb8f9c14da1a96d478544a03093bbba.jpg

        • Philmonomer

          All you just did is give justification for being hateful. They were bad so now I’m going to be hateful. Don’t you all understand. This is the main thing Jesus talked against.

          If you pick and choose the verses, then you can say “it is the main thing Jesus talked against.” But Jesus also told people, 1) he didn’t come here to bring peace, but a sword, 2) that he has come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, 3) that Christians are not supposed to cast their pearls before “swine” 4) he cursed the fig tree 5) he upset the money lender’s tables 6) probably a bunch of other stuff I forgot.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Ok. I’ll pick the one about about love and compassion. But thank you anyway for sharing those other verses. I’m sure you put in a lot of time researching the bible for me.

        • Philmonomer

          Hey, so long as you freely admit you’re picking and choosing the verses you like, that’s fine by me.

          I do that too. I skip all the supernatural stuff, and just go for the golden rule, and whatever else seems good.

        • Pofarmer

          Many of us have, indeed, put an inordinate amount of time into studying the Bible, mainly for ourselves. That’s why we’re atheists.

        • Pofarmer

          Did Jesus talk against passive aggressive bullshit?

        • Pofarmer

          I’m am atheist. I don’t care what you think Jesus talked against. What I care about is the abuses carried out in the name of an ideology that hasn’t changed to prevent them. I care that real people are really harmed in the name of your imaginary deity.

        • adam

          “This is the main thing Jesus talked against.”

          But he did talk about how much you should beat your slaves.

        • adam
        • Joe

          But only a hateful person would attack someone for it.

          Why hateful? A skeptical person, a tired person, a frustrated person, a sensible person would also mock people for ridiculous beliefs.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Only hateful people mock others merely for their beliefs.

        • Joe

          I’ve just given you examples of other types of people who mock ridiculous beliefs.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Yes you have. Thank you.

        • adam

          So why do you mock Joe, after he has pointed out how ignorant you are?

        • Michael Neville

          guadalupelavaca does it because she is a check valve and a diode. They name streets after people like her: one way.

          https://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/One-Way-Sign.jpg

        • TheNuszAbides

          why thank Joe for information that you’ll obstinately decline to integrate into your nonsensical assertions? (to wit, “Only hateful people …”)

        • adam

          Only hateful people judge others as hateful.

        • Pofarmer

          And so I told you, for the most part, exactly why I oppose Catholicism. It isn’t the beliefs, its’ the results of those beliefs, over millennia. And yet you still label me hateful. You’re not just moving the goalposts, you’re switching the field and the game.

        • Susan

          Because only people who hate would want to mock someone for a belief.

          Yet Dawkins doesn’t hate christians.

          He does challenge their claims and the authority those positions claim to hold.

          The claims don’t respond to logic, they evade requests for evidence, and they are uttered with unearned authority.

          This is why satire exists. There comes a point where you are left with nothing but mockery.

          To be fair to Dawkins, he didn’t think that was his finest hour.

          His body of work, his patience with creationists and the foggy utterings of the Archbishop of Canterbury (of “God is a question mark” fame) shows that your handwaving reference, even if linked, is not in the context of the speech or the discussions he’s raised.

          Lest you call him the atheist pope, I should point out that many people here don’t like him.

          I do. But I see him as a thoughtful human being, who’s made great efforts to bring religious claims into the daylight where they can be evaluated like any other claim. He comes from the old, academic school where you raise topics that are uncomfortable, say something you’ve put thought into and invite thoughtful criticism

          Twitter is not his friend.

          We’re not here to talk about Professor Dawkins though, are we?

          Pofarmer was talking about communion.

          I remember being prepared for communion when I was 7. The priest solemnly instructed us to let the wafer dissolve on the back of our tongue, lest we get bits of Jesus caught between our teeth. I kid you not.

          Suggesting Pofamer (or Richard Dawkins or anyone else) is a hater because they are concerned people literally think that’s true is way off base.

          I wouldn’t mock someone for becoming fluent in advanced Klingon. I can see why they might think that’s cool and why it might mean something for them..

          But when they indoctrinate children to believe that (without evidence) the Klingons are coming to save them and we must obey their representatives or that the Klingons are coming to destroy us and that we must obey their opponents…

          We start with reason, ask for evidence and when neither is provided, all they leave us with is mockery.

          That’s not hatred.

          That’s due process.

          Of the merit of an idea.

        • Pofarmer

          Ya know. I am kind of a hater. I despise the Catholic Church. Loathe it in fact. But it’s not because of what it or it’s believers think. It’s because of what they do – because of what they think. It’s an upside down world where obedience is love. Not questioning is strength. Belief in the most ridiculous things is truth. And then you treat others unquestionably as if those beliefs are real.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Oh Susan, I am not at all surprised you would defend Dawkins for encouraging the crowd to mock. Apparently hate is what atheists like to preach. It is no different than the westboro Baptist church. Hate is hate. The only difference is the reasons for hate.

        • MNb

          Repeating the false equivalence of mockery and hate only makes it worse – it makes you the one who is hateful. In the end you will be as hateful as the Westboro Baptist Church indeed.

        • adam

          People mocked for believing that MAGIC is real?

          You dont say?

        • Susan

          I am not at all surprised you would defend Dawkins for encouraging the crowd to mock.

          I’m willing to bet that no one here is surprised that you ignored my attempts to have a civil discussion about ideas, instead choosing to baselessly accuse anyone who dares question your position of hatred.

          Without support.

          Let me get your position straight:

          Help me out if I missed a step.

          1) Anyone who doesn’t accept my position and explains why they don’t, is a hater.

          2) I have no responsibility to support my position.

          3) Any criticism of my position on a local or global scale can only be hatred.

          4) If someone mocks my position,after a few repetitions of this cycle, it can only be hatred. (See 1).

        • adam

          “It is no different than the westboro Baptist church.”

          You mean the Christian Westboro Baptist Church.

        • Greg G.

          WBC can back up each and every one of their hatreds, book, chapter, and verse.

        • adam

          Well of course, they are Bible believing Christians too.

        • MNb

          Take that up with the christians who endlessly mock atheism. Clean your own house first before you criticize the mess in the house of your neighbour. Didn’t Jesus say something like that in Matth. 7:1-5?
          That’s to say, if there is a mess, because personally I am totally OK with christians mocking my atheism.
          In other words, you just display the arrogant desire of wanting to impose your own preferences on the rest of the world.

        • guadalupelavaca

          So you are saying that your hate is excused because others hate? Isn’t that why we have wars and terrorism? “My neighbors hate, so I’m going to hate too.”

        • MNb

          No, those words are yours and confirm your illogic.

          1. I am not guilty of the false equivalence of mockery and hate.
          2. I don’t hate.
          3. I point out that you are a hypocrite.
          4. I point out that you are the kind of hypocrite Jesus criticized.

          What I am saying regarding myself is: I mock others and I am not only totally fine with, I even enjoy (if well done) being mocked.
          Not quite the same, is it?
          Your loaded question suggests you are the hatefule one, not me.

        • guadalupelavaca

          You must be speaking of someone else. I never mocked atheists. I can’t help it if someone else did. In my church we are not taught or encouraged to ridicule or mock. But it is clear that Dawkins has gotten to your heart where now you feel it is justified to do so. The more I read the responses here the more my faith goes. If leaving my church means to become a hateful bigot than I would rather remain in my “delusion”

        • adam

          ” If leaving my church means to become a hateful bigot than I would rather remain in my “delusion””

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fbee2ae71608c49ff6cd3778051384d5ac950eab0a8c65082bd7d40a20822ade.jpg

        • MNb

          In the first place in my previous comment I did no accusing you of mocking atheists.
          In the second place in that other reaction to me you did mock atheist me with the phrase “holy high priest Dawkins”.
          Now I don’t mind – in this special case it’s even very easy, because I have a quite low opinion of Dawkins. However that does not undo the fact that you mocked me.
          Ye hypocrite.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’m not here to judge

          Smug!

          Judgement!

          Maybe it is ridiculous. But only a hateful person would attack someone for it.

          Judgement!

          Haters gonna hate. Which is why I label it hatetheism

          Judgement!

          What I say here about atheism is that the majority of people who post are very hateful. It’s because that’s really all you have

          Judgement!

          Hate has become your religion

          Judgement!

          I say you are wrong for the manner in which it is done.

          Judgement!

          Mocking is not merely disagreeing. It is hateful.

          Judgement!

          You are not only hateful, but an angry one at that.

          Judgement!

          hateful manner of atheists toward believers.

          Judgement!

          Apparently hate is what atheists like to preach

          Judgement!

          You must be speaking of someone else. I never mocked atheists.

          Ha!!! You’re doing it all over this forum.

          hateful bigot

          Judgement!

        • guadalupelavaca

          Um…It’s called criticism sweetheart. Judging is when you say a person is bad. Criticism is when you say the behavior is bad. I have no idea if anybody here is good or bad. I cannot see into anybody’s heart. But I can read their words, pumpkin. And the words are hateful and bigoted. But seriously, English is my second language. So maybe I just don’t understand the meanings?

        • adam
        • MNb

          Yup. Christian hypocrite guadal says X about atheism and it’s criticism.
          An atheist says the same about christianity and it’s mockery coming from hate.
          Reread slowly Matth. 7:1-5 and try to understand what it means for you personally – if you are serious about worshipping Jesus.

        • BlackMamba44

          Judging is when you say a person is bad…or good. And it’s based on words and/or actions/behavior.

          And I’m not your sweetheart or your pumpkin. Please don’t use your pet names on me. It’s really creepy.

        • guadalupelavaca

          You can’t take criticism, so you call it judgment.

        • BlackMamba44
        • adam

          You can’t take criticism, so you call it hate.

        • TheNuszAbides

          didn’t paralegal training teach you to avoid wasting valuable ironymeters?

        • TheNuszAbides

          dangling that possibility is of course purely rhetorical when you’ve already expressed an explicit (if poorly-justified) preference for your “‘delusion'”.

        • BlackMamba44

          I could have kept going but it was the end of my work day.

        • adam
      • Kevin K

        Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”

        — Thomas Jefferson, 1816.

        • Mike

          If you are so against religion then why do you live in this country? A country with Christian connections all over the place. Surely a critical thinker such as yourself can see the hypocrisy in living in the USA? Your views will never be supported by a political candidate who can legitimately win any office of significance today? I’m serious, I’m not making fun. How does it feel to have no platform and no voice when it comes to politics? How does it feel to stand for a flag and use currency all with the blessings on God?

        • Doubting Thomas

          Your views will never be supported by a political candidate who can legitimately win any office of significance today?

          This is only true if you consider religious beliefs to be the only political views someone cares about, which many Christians seem to do.

          How does it feel to stand for a flag and use currency all with the blessings on God?

          Christians often point this out, which serves to remind me that Christians are often dicks.

        • Mike

          1. I mean a candidate will never win without religious support. You can create a candidate who has the exact same values and political beliefs as you but if they atheists they will never win. Congress will never have a majority of non believers.

          2. It’s on honest statement. How can you live in a country in which you will never have a voice . It’s s legitimate question.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Would you ask the same question (…why do you live in this country?) of a Hindu or a Jew or any other non-Christian? What response would you expect?

          I’m guessing there answer would be similar to mine: I live here because I like it here despite the nonsense I have to put up with from the religious majority.

          If the scales ever tip, will you be the first to leave?

        • Mike

          Many come to this country for opportunity. This country gives people of all religions the freedom to practice their own religion. This is a great thing. There are several Jewish leaders in this country. Not so much Hindu leaders but that is probably based on this country’s racism issue and not religious beliefs. But if Christianity were to “topple” or scales tipped as you say it would be replaced with another religion. There will never be a majority or President of this country who isn’t religious. I would still respect the fact this country gives me freedom to practice my religion and my beliefs are relevant in societal beliefs that our politicians our elected on.

          As I stated, I’m not making fun or mocking, just curious to how you can live in a country in which you will never have a voice or platform in your lifetime or children’s lifetime? Keep “fighting the fight?” I believe in what I believe and I live in a society that shares my beliefs, especially politically. You will never have that so I’m intrigued.

        • Doubting Thomas

          How do I not have a voice? I have voted many times for all sorts of candidates. I have voted for people who share many of my views. I have voted for people who don’t share many of my views.

          The only way you can say I don’t have a voice is if you view politics through a purely religious lens. This says more about your own myopia than anything else.

        • Mike

          A voice is a candidate who is in office. You can vote for a candidate who shares many of your beliefs but if that candidate has any religious affiliation whatsoever you are a hypocrite because you are supporting someone that you don’t really respect. Based on your comments like believeing in fairy tales or untrue stories you cannot really respect a candidate who is religious but shares your values. You cannot call 1 believer dumb r mock then then respect a candidate who believes in religion. You are either a hypocrite or voiceless as previously mentioned.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Well, as long as you define it where “having a voice” means having someone in office with the same religious beliefs….. Sounds reasonable./s

          I personally think that I have a voice when the person I voted for or a person who shares many of my political opinions gets elected. If your sole requirement for such things is having a politician that shares your religion, then go with it.

          And please don’t tell me who I do and don’t respect and on what basis. It only reveals your ignorance about the matter.

        • Mike

          1. They don’t have to share your religion but when you ridicule and mock ppl for believing b in religion you cannot endorse, vote, or support any candidate who believes in religion. All you have to do is click on your profile to view your ignorance. Based on all the comments you have made mocking religion you can’t legitimately support any candidate who is religious. This you are a hypocrite and voiceless. Your life has little meaning in this world. It’s not because of your atheism. It’s because of your ignorance that you painted yourself into a narrow corner. Enjoy it, no one will hear you.

        • Michael Neville

          I understand now. You’re not talking about the country or about candidates. You’re whining because atheists don’t hold religious people in the high regard you think they should be held. As for ignorance, you need to look in a mirror. Your ignorance about atheists is quite remarkable, especially your ignorance about what is or isn’t politically important to us.
          .

        • adam

          “1. They don’t have to share your religion but when you ridicule and mock
          ppl for believing b in religion you cannot endorse, vote, or support
          any candidate who believes in religion”

          It is hard to support people who are so delusional to believe that magic is real.

          “Based on all the comments you have made mocking religion you can’t legitimately support any candidate who is religious.”

          Of course you can, because most religious people are so hypocritical about what they claim to believe.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

        • Doubting Thomas

          1. They don’t have to share your religion but when you ridicule and mock
          ppl for believing b in religion you cannot endorse, vote, or support
          any candidate who believes in religion.

          Well, except for the fact I have voted for a candidate who believes in religion. Other than that, the rest of your statement is mostly true.

          Your life has little meaning in this world.

          I have one consolation. Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so. And while I might have some questions about the methodology, my gay lover, Jesus, gives my life meaning.

        • Ignorance? Where did that come from? Ignorance about what?

        • adam

          “This you are a hypocrite and voiceless. Your life has little meaning in this world. ”

          Why do you feel the need to project your infantile emotions onto other human beings of which you know almost nothing?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/681785c573e0e941d7e81f66dd2e305bc7671f7e9b41f0b84b263f098be05d79.jpg

        • I voted for Obama. He doesn’t think 100% the way I do, but that’s OK. Where’s my hypocrisy?

        • adam

          “You can vote for a candidate who shares many of your beliefs but if that
          candidate has any religious affiliation whatsoever you are a hypocrite
          because you are supporting someone that you don’t really respect”

          Hey, MOSTS christians are hypocrites about what they believe.
          So what they CLAIM has little to no bearing on what they practice.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/121670126727fb70083ce9688c4d61a65733742a289d1710ab2e6475100ee6eb.png

        • What’s especially hilarious is when they list their Christian values and then hide pedophile priests and vote for thrice-divorced politicians.

        • Michael Neville

          You appear to be a one-issue voter. “Does this candidate support or deny religion? If they support then vote for them, if they deny then vote against them.” Like most people I weigh issues. Some issues are more important to me than others. Whether or not a candidate is religious is way down on my list of attributes I want from a candidate. Donald Trump is one of the least religious presidents ever, but I wouldn’t vote for him if he was running against Sauron (at least Sauron is competent).

        • Mike

          Agreed. But when you constantly bash and mock people for their religious beliefs you can no longer support a candidate who believes in religion. If you do so you have morphed into a hypocrite who picks and choose their beliefs and are willing to sacrifice them. If Doubting Thomas was like, I don’t believe in religion but I respect those who do, then yes, vote for anyone. But when you cross that line you lose credibility. He has 900 comments that proves he doesn’t respect religion.

        • Michael Neville

          Why can’t I support a religious candidate even if I think religious beliefs are unevidenced and silly? Be specific, explain in detail why I cannot support a religious candidate. Or admit that you’re just trolling us with your whines about us not respecting religious beliefs. Your choice.

        • Mike

          Because your the type of person that will ridicule the police but then call when you need help/ saving. You ridicule and mock people of faith but you need us. We control everything. Not just Christians, people of all religions. You want different laws? You need a person who is religious. You need surgery? You need a DR who just came from church. You need a policeman, chances are they are religious. But as you state we are all pixie worshiping. These people show up for you all the time and you ridicule their religion. Even if they know your misguided beliefs they would still show up. I would call you worthless but that’s not true. You are more a bitter person who sure does a lot of writing about something you think doesn’t exist. That shows me you need validation of your beliefs. SAD.

        • Michael Neville

          Because your the type of person that will ridicule the police but then call when you need help/ saving.

          Where did you get this nonsense? Out of your rosy red rectum would be my guess. I make the strong suggestion that you don’t make up silly stories about people you don’t know anything about other than we don’t believe in gods. You’ll look less stupid and less like an asshole if you refrain from making up those kinds of stories. Unless, of course, you want to look like a stupid asshole.

          Unlike you, I don’t split the population into two groups, theists and atheists. My dentist is Korean and I have no idea what her religion is. I don’t care what it is. She and I have never discussed religion and I sincerely doubt she knows if I’m an atheist. Her and my mutual concern is my dental care.

          My boss knows I’m an atheist and he doesn’t care. I know that he’s a Catholic and I don’t care. He just cares if I perform my job. The only time we’ve discussed religion is when we were talking about someone in my department who happens to be a brahman (Hindu priest). We admitted to each other that we knew very little about Hinduism (I’ve learned some from this brahman).

          In short, in the real world, something you appear to be unacquainted with, people generally don’t care about other peoples’ religions or lack thereof. Sorry to break it to you but you’re being really silly with your nonsense about me ridiculing strangers just for grins and giggles.

        • Mike

          It’s one thing to be an atheist and it’s another to hide behind a computer and ridicule religious using the terms pixies or fairy’s. Those people you named might know your an atheist but do they know about your many posts completely shitting on them and their religion? They would probably have a different attitude towards you. But you are a scared clueless person. You stand for nothing. Religion is just one of the things. I actually think you lack the foirtitude and intelligence to debate someone face-to-face. You spend hours bashing something you claim doesn’t exist. You are a shame.

        • Michael Neville

          I have debated atheism vs theism face to face on numerous occasions. Again you’re making up stories about someone you know nothing about. So it appears more and more that you do want to look like a stupid asshole.

          Learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”. You’ll look less like an ignorant stupid asshole that way.

        • Greg G.

          Then there is “the terms pixies or fairy’s.”

        • Michael Neville

          Lots of people use the grocers’ apostrophe. Apparently they think it necessary to warn the reader that there’s an “s” at the end of the word. Our own Ignorant Amos is a fan of the grocers’ apostrophe.

        • Susan

          ,blockquote>Our own Igorant Amos is a fan of the grocers’ apostrophe.

          Funny how you find that sort of thing to be an endearing fingerprint when someone makes substantial comments.

          Sort of like I learned to read “imply from “infer” without being annoyed.

          Because I’ve learned a ton from Ignorant Amos.

          He is honest and thoughtful. He maked substantial comments and expects them to be challenged.

          He doesn’t ever whine when someone disagrees.

        • Michael Neville

          I agree that IA is an intelligent, thoughtful, honest commentator. I like him, I respect him and I make a point of reading his comments. It’s just that he uses the grocers’ apostrophe.

        • adam

          What’ exactly’ is your’ problem’?

        • Michael Neville

          Another misuse of apostrophes. That should have been “i’s“.

        • adam

          lol

        • Susan

          I know. I was just trying to say that when IA does it, it’s charming.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve got such a man crush going I never noticed it.

          Plus I suck at punctuation.

        • There are right and wrong uses of the apostrophe here, but there are confusing areas. Am I going to a writers conference, a writers’ conference, or a writer’s conference? I would reject the third one, but writer’s and writers’ are both arguable.

          But just to be clear, there is no such thing as a “mens room.”

        • Michael Neville

          An apostrophe is used for two things: (1) to show possession, i.e. John’s car, or (b) as a contraction, i.e. don’t instead of do not.

        • Agreed. I’m simply pointing out examples where the correct course is still not clear. Is it a conference composed of many writers? Then use writers’. Is it a conference for the writer? Then use writer’s.

          Perhaps there is a convention creating a clear preference, but I’ve seen discussions of this issue.

        • Kodie

          You can go to a writer’s conference, but I think you’re going to a writers’ conference.

        • Kodie

          Anything else would be a capostrophe.

        • adam

          Anything else would be a crapostrophe?

        • Kodie

          Catapostrophic.

        • MR

          I was at a restaurant last week and our Hispanic waiter said, “Good evening, gentlemens.” Language, I tell ya.

        • It’s lucky I already speak English. I’d hate to have to learn it.

        • Kodie

          I’m agree.

        • TheNuszAbides

          nor a “men’s rea”. though of course that one doesn’t come up as much in day-to-day conversation.

        • adam

          grocers’ apostrophe

          Interesting term, I had not heard before, thanks!

        • Speaking for myself, I ridicule in comments when necessary, but I prefer to engage in apologetics. If you want to engage with those (there are 1000 posts at this blog), go for it. Give us your reaction. Tell me where I made a mistake.

        • adam

          “But you are a scared clueless person.”

          Why do you feel the need to project your EMOTIONS on other people, snowflake.

        • I was waiting for him to say, “You need science? You need a person who is religious.”

        • Joe

          Because your the type of person that will ridicule the police

          You may have Michael confused with popular gansta-rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube. I don’t think they are one and the same person.

        • Susan

          I don’t think they are one and the same person.

          They’re not?

          Darn it. 🙁

          I just lost a bet with myself.

        • Greg G.

          Don’t pay off that bet until you have seen them in the same room.

        • Kodie

          At least you won.

        • MNb

          “Because your the type of person that will ridicule the police”
          See, this is why I call you biased with your christian blinkers.
          MN is an ex-soldier. I very much doubt that he will ever ridicule armed forces.

        • I voted for Obama and Hillary. In fact all of the candidates that I’ve voted for have been Christian (as you have noted). I’m sure this is true for most of the other American atheists you’ve interacted with.

        • Mike

          So you like to support the Christian faith and values. Thank you.

        • That’s cute! You really think that good values come from Christianity? Tell that to the regions of the world in historic control of the older religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. They’ll also be amused to hear that values come from Christianity.

          The presidential candidates that I’ve voted for have kept their religion on check, more or less. The unconstitutional pandering to the religious right is obnoxious, of course, but lots of politics is obnoxious.

        • Michael Neville

          You confuse being Christian with Christian values. The two are not identical. Roy Moore brags about being a Christian but trolling the malls for teenage girls is hardly a Christian value. The Religious Right has made it obvious that being right wing is more important to them than being religious, as shown by their support of sexual predator and religious apatheist Donald Trump.

        • adam

          ” Roy Moore brags about being a Christian but trolling the malls for teenage girls is hardly a Christian value.”

          Hey Mary was probably 12-14 when she got knocked up by ‘God’

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cde4c67b3761933ed4a62e0ffa66687dc2dc1e137d464cbbf84b1ab135bd931a.jpg

        • Joe

          “Will the real Christian values please stand up”

        • adam

          Roy Moore can’t step down because he is waiting for Jesus to give him a sign.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cde4c67b3761933ed4a62e0ffa66687dc2dc1e137d464cbbf84b1ab135bd931a.jpg

        • MNb

          You are still asking after 2000 years?!

        • Joe

          Any day now……

        • Joe

          No, just values.

        • adam

          “So you like to support the Christian faith and values.”

          You mean like Roy Moore’s?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb4831e1694c2ba934736efcb24fc7f67501a3f169ecaeac7e1a8fd31de3d3f6.png

        • MNb

          Depends on which christian values.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Romero
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Tutu

          As a staunch and radical atheist I have no problem to support theirs.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Paisley
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jozef_Tiso

          I have big problems with their christian values though – I despise them.
          But that didn’t prevent me from voting for these radical left believers (I would have had problems with voting for Hillary Clinton though – way too right wing):

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ria_Beckers
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Rosenmoller

          And I would have voted for this muslim as well:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tofik_Dibi

          Of course for a prejudiced christian like you with your religious blinkers it’s hard to understand that for many atheists the god-question is not the decisive issue.

        • You need to track the demographics more closely. As you’ve already been told, northern Europe has already gone through this transition to Christians being a minority (a small minority in some countries). Unfortunately for your worldview, they trounce the US in social metrics. So no, society doesn’t go to hell when God leaves.

          But if we’re asking rhetorical questions, what do you think about Christianity dropping to the #2 spot in world religions in roughly 2070? Perhaps it’s all part of God’s plan.

        • Mike

          For someone who doesn’t believe in something you sure have devoted a good portion of your life to it. And rest assured in 2070 your family will still live in s religious denominated country and the cross will still be as relevant or more relevant then ever. Your whole crusade is for not. A life wasted because your ego got into the way of the truth. God doesn’t have to appear or reveal himself to appease you or your band of misfits. You don’t demand anything of God. I hope you at least have a good pension from Microsoft Bob, because besides money and family your life is empty.

        • For someone who doesn’t believe in something you sure have devoted a good portion of your life to it.

          How is this surprising? Christians and Christianity aren’t imaginary (even though their god is), and they cause a lot of trouble in the US.

          And rest assured in 2070 your family will still live in s religious denominated country and the cross will still be as relevant or more relevant then ever.

          The fraction of Nones in the US has gone from 6% to 25% in the last 20 years (if memory serves). Your prediction is on shaky ground.

          Your whole crusade is for not.

          Yeah? Tell me what my crusade is.

          A life wasted because your ego got into the way of the truth.

          My ego? Why isn’t it yours? If the Muslims are correct, you’re going to be sorry. Ditto Buddhism and many of the other religions.

          God doesn’t have to appear or reveal himself to appease you or your band of misfits.

          Yeah, he kinda does. He’s all loving and all powerful. He knows that hell awaits those who don’t get it. My suggestion to the Almighty: help them get it. Make yourself known. If you’ve got your panties in a twist because of that whole free will thing, that’s not an issue. Simply making yourself known allows them to know you (just like they would anyone else) and then make a decision.

          I hope you at least have a good pension from Microsoft Bob, because besides money and family your life is empty.

          I’m the one following the evidence, remember? I sleep soundly.

        • Mike

          Find a new country Bob. Christianity has survived 2000 years. Your so blinded to think it’s going to disappear. Your also not counting g for the number of Noones that will come back or join religion. Keep on writing though. It’s amusing to read someone who thinks he’s an intellectual. I giggle.

        • adam
        • Mike probably also doesn’t realize that what settled out as orthodox Christianity was simply the strain that survived the early infighting. The Gnostics and Marcionites, to name just two groups, were unlucky flavors of Christianity that fell away.

        • MNb

          Which settled orthodox christianity? This one?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copts

          Or this one?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac_Orthodox_Church

          With a bit of luck the most widespread orthodox christianity would have become this one:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism

          One of the daughters in law of Ghengiz Khan (the mother of Hulagu Khan, who sacked Baghdad in 1258) was a Nestorian. One offshoot still exists:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Thomas_Christians

        • Great examples.

        • Michael Neville

          Find a new country Bob.

          Let me explain something to you, stupid asshole. This is MY country. I’ve lived here almost 70 years and I’m not leaving just because you don’t like me not believing your fairy tales about your magic sky pixie. I spent 20 years in the military and have shed blood for this country, so it’s mine and I’m staying no matter how much you piss and moan about atheists.

        • Mike

          I careless about your service. You are a fraud.

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          No, I’m someone who cares about my country. I care enough about it that I don’t demand that ignorant, stupid assholes like you leave. I think my country is big enough and strong enough to survive even with ignorant, stupid assholes like you lying about citizens who disagree with you on one topic.

          BTW, “care less” is two words when used in the manner you intended to use it.

        • And I imagine he was struggling to find to words to say, “I couldn’t care less,” but perhaps I’m giving him too much credit.

        • And my giggle is that not only are you handwaving (clumsily) about demographic trends while complaining when I point to demographics, you’re not addressing the actual question, does God exist? If you don’t care about the question and enjoy bragging about how you’re living in your happy fairyland and it must suck to be me, well I guess that’s great for you. As for me, I prefer to follow the evidence and embrace reality. Fairyland doesn’t work for me.

        • Perhaps the conversation got a little too hot for our old pal Mike, because he seems to be run away. I’ll reply to one of his recent comments here.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cccc380dbcbd2438130020b7d79f04e930637f75bacc5cb5b49d538393c27b66.jpg

          Like I said Bob, we will always welcome you back.

          You’re very generous, so let me return the favor. If you want to come to the Flying Spaghetti Monster with due contrition, you will also be welcomed in.

          I read your post asking/ begging people to buy your books! You are playing these people like a fiddle Bob! Nice!!

          Yup. My books have sold millions. I’m actually writing this from Fiji.

          the slight increase in noones

          You’re a funny guy! The rise of the Nones in the US may be the religion story of the decade.

        • Mike

          Are there even any atheist in Congress? How are such sweeping changes going to occur so fast? And you seem to particularly pick on Christians. Christianity will only increase Bob. You seem to think of Christians as white people. At one point 85 percent of American adults identified as Christians per surveys.That’s down to 74 percent but has level off and is rising with Latinos and people coming back to the church. So your 2070 is just more wishful thinking on your end. Generations of your family will still live in a society ran by religion. There is still time to come back Bob.

        • Are there even any atheist in Congress?

          I’m certain there are, especially when you look at how the rate of atheism increases in populations with higher intelligence (unless you think that politicians are below-average . . . and I’d have to admit that you might have something there). Your question should be, “Are there any out atheists in Congress?”

          How are such sweeping changes going to occur so fast?

          What changes?

          And you seem to particularly pick on Christians.

          Shintoism isn’t the bull in American society’s china shop, in case you haven’t noticed.

          Christianity will only increase Bob.

          If you’re talking about the Pew study on world religions, I wrote about that here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/05/christianity-becomes-an-african-religion-islam-overtakes-christianity-and-other-upcoming-changes/

          So your 2070 is just more wishful thinking on your end.

          Wrong again. That’s the conclusion of that study.

          There is still time to come back Bob.

          Show me that God exists, and I’ll think about it.

        • Mike

          Your article is worthless to me, you make assumptions based on trends. There are so many variables that go into those trends/ statement it can’t hold up in a quantitative world. It is more wishful thinking. For you do dedicate so much of your time to something you claim doesn’t exist,it will must eat at you. Sad life you live.

        • Michael Neville

          Bob has evidence to support his contention but you reject the evidence because you don’t like the contention. Thinking and honesty are not two of your attributes.

          For you do dedicate so much of your time to something you claim doesn’t exist,it will must eat at you.

          We’d be happy to ignore Christianity but Christians don’t want to return the favor. When creationists stop trying to replace science education with teaching religious mythology, when anti-abortionists stop trying to outlaw something which should be solely between a woman and her doctor, when Catholic hospitals stop restricting access to contraception services because celibate bachelor bishops think Baby Jesus cries whenever a woman takes the pill, then we’ll ignore Christianity. When evangelical politicians realize that climate change is a real problem that won’t be fixed by praying to Jesus then we won’t condemn them for ignoring reality. When stupid assholes like you stop spreading lies about atheists then we’ll stop mocking your beliefs. When Christians stop imposing their beliefs on the rest of us then we can stop pointing and laughing at those beliefs.

        • Mike

          Bob picks and choose his evidence and gives opinions. You can point and laugh all you want. You have no say in society. Whose the joke really on?

        • adam

          “Bob picks and choose his evidence and gives opinions.”

          And you’ve got no evidence.
          So your opinions are pulled from your ignorance ass.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/16ff24b0a7ceb21423959ec810a1e8a2520675c1cde50d310879942c65ff9482.jpg
          Christianity

        • Greg G.

          Bob can choose his evidence because there is evidence to support his position. You whine about the evidence because it refutes your position.

        • I’m pretty sure the joke is on the guy who’s been deluded about reality. Despite what they told you, yeah, it is really a waste to pick God when there is no supernatural.

        • BlackMamba44
        • adam
        • But you are my polestar. I’ll strive to be like you, not caring about society’s problems.

        • And I marvel that you had nothing in response to my comments. Were they that overwhelming?

        • Mike

          Like I said Bob, we will always welcome you back. I actually think you do this for money now that I’ve dived into some of your comments. You are probably still a practicing Presbyterian. But you wanted to write and found your niche. Well played Bob. Well played. I read your post asking/ begging people to buy your books! You are playing these people like a fiddle Bob! Nice!! You pointed out that you read about the slight increase in noones and knew to strike while the iron was hot. After all these people are dying for their voice to be heard. Your a code man, a developer from Microsoft. You know stats; analytics; and economics well and you knew you can make a nice piece of change off these people! All it will cost you is a confession or two! Well played!!!!

        • adam

          ” Generations of your family will still live in a society ran by religion.”

          Not if christianity gets it wish:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cdf1945c329723ddbb7c03a5aa7c5a3ef1bae3c5f93caabe7aed79f438227c78.jpg

        • MNb

          “1. I mean a candidate will never win without religious support.”
          Yeah, because what happened in western European countries never can happen in the USA. Mike knows – his very own god told him during prayer.

        • 1. Because of magic? Or because America’s Christian voters won’t stand for it?

          God’s magic is pretty unreliable, and the fraction of voters in the US who are Christian is falling.

        • Kevin K

          “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

          — Thomas Jefferson.

        • Kevin K

          Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.

          — James Madison

        • Mike

          “I cannot come up with a rational thought by myself. Instead I quote others and misinterprete their quotes for my own personal gain. I have no voice, no true country. I’m like a tree living on a deserted island. Society doesn’t reject me, I reject society. Society always try’s to welcome me but I am afraid. I’m not afraid of their religion, but rather in the belief there is something greater than me.”

          Kevin K before he goes to bed.

        • BlackMamba44

          Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!

          Afraid of the belief that there is something greater than me? Really?

          Bwahahahahahaha!!

        • And that’s what someone who lost a game of Founding Fathers Quote Mining says before he goes to bed. Nice try.

          The fact of the matter is that the founding fathers gave us a deliberately secular constitution. Religion is given a place in society courtesy of the Constitution.

        • Kevin K

          “If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both there (England) and in New England.”

          — Benjamin Franklin

        • Mike

          And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all Humility to acknowledge. That I owe the mention happinesses of my past life to his kind Province.

          Franklin.

        • Kevin K

          All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

          — Thomas Paine.

        • Mike

          I believe in one God and no more. I hope for happiness beyond this life.

          Thomas Paine.

        • Mike

          That’s what the kids call a Mic Drop.

        • Greg G.

          A mic drop is embarrassing when done too soon. See http://disq.us/p/1oipaos

        • TheNuszAbides

          i wonder if that was the final straw that prompted his pathetic deletions.

        • Greg G.

          He was quite arrogant and irritating.

          About that Ptolemy-bartholomew connection I was wondering about how the “-my” could become “-mew”. It turns out that the last five letters are the same in the Greek in Josephus and Mark.

          AIUI, Wycliffe translated what should have been “Jacob” in the New Testament to “James”. I assume none of the translators of the KJV dared correct the error. So I’m blaming Wycliffe for the “-mew”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh, LOLlardisms.

        • Kevin K

          I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church.

          — Thomas Paine.

        • dluch

          Obviously a peace-loving hippie atheist – what KIND of people founded this nation anyways?!

        • BlackMamba44

          Still wanted to keep church and state separate.

        • Paine?? What does he know? Christians have 3 gods.

        • BlackMamba44

          Yet still wanted to keep church and state separate.

        • adam

          “If you are so against religion then why do you live in this country?”

          I was born here and this is my home.

          “How does it feel to stand for a flag and use currency all with the blessings on God?”

          The same way I would feel if it all was with the blessings on an imaginary Satan.

          Pity for those believers in MAGIC.

        • MNb

          The questions of a ridiculous christian who can’t stand that his religious privileges are taken away from him.

          “why do you live in this country?”
          I don’t.
          Now predictably you will pull off the silly “if you don’t live here you have no right to criticize”. Because censorship makes you horny.

        • BlackMamba44

          How does it feel to stand for a flag and use currency all with the blessings on God?

          (Paper currency: 1957. Pledge of allegiance: 1954)
          Only since the 1950s and only in response to the “godless communists”. Nothing actually to do with any “Christian connections”.

        • How does it feel to have no platform and no voice when it comes to politics?

          You’re saying that Christians have subverted the Constitution’s prohibition against any religious text in Article VI? Yes, they have. I’m not sure that I’d be bragging that Christians have to stoop so low, however.

          How does it feel to stand for a flag and use currency all with the blessings on God?

          How constitutional is “In God We Trust” in a country governed by a secular constitution?

        • TheNuszAbides

          that can’t worry the ever-shrewd G.leV., who has prophesied the Catholic Dominance of North America.

      • Greg G.

        Did you see the speech or a quotemine taken out of context from the speech?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Taken out of context? Is that your defense? Ridicule them and mock them are very clear in their meanings. But I do understand why you would defend Dawkins because hate blinds. Look…if you want to disagree with someone over religion that’s fine. But ridicule and mock? I don’t agree with Mormons and think their view of Christianity is distorted but I would never consider ridiculing them.

        • Greg G.

          I can show you 18 Bible verses that have been translated to English to say, “there is no god” without those being incorrectly translated. Would you defend the Bible by saying the phrase is taken out of context?

          Ridicule them and mock them are very clear in their meanings.

          No, they do not, especially in context. He is merely talking about being less polite, not screaming and yelling like a street preacher. Sometimes it is difficult to get someone to think about their religious beliefs. When other methods don’t work, ridiculing and mocking might do it. It does work sometimes. When someone believes that saying magic words over a cracker and wine will make them turn into Jesus flesh and blood because they have never heard anyone doubt it, a little ridicule might be what they need to stop pretending.

        • adam
        • Lea See

          Eze_16:55 Yes, your sisters, Sodom and Samaria, and all their people will be restored, and at that time you also will be restored.

        • No, it’s a demand. Present the quote in context so we can see your point. Christian sites are, unfortunately, often unreliable. “I read it on the internet” won’t do.

        • guadalupelavaca

          The speech has already been posted by greg.

        • adam
        • Chuck Johnson

          Look…if you want to disagree with someone over religion that’s fine.
          But ridicule and mock? I don’t agree with Mormons and think their view
          of Christianity is distorted but I would never consider ridiculing
          them.-Guadalupe

          Jesus-of-the-Bible leads the way.
          Mocking people who promoted phony religion was one of his habits.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Do you have a particular cite in the gospels? I know he was critical of the Pharisees, but not of other religions.

        • Chuck Johnson

          The Pharisees, yes.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Yes. They were Jews. Just like Jesus.

        • Chuck Johnson

          If they were really just like Jesus, he wouldn’t have been so loudly critical of them. Just calling them “all Jews” is a deceit.

          There are as many versions of a religion as there are believers in it.

        • Greg G.

          They were not the same sect. The Pharisees and Sadducees had different belief systems and debated one another but they were both Jewish sects.

          Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13
          “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

          Matthew 23:13ff
          “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. [“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.] “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

          Luke 11:42ff
          “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places. “Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.”

          Mark 7:26-27
          Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

          Mark 12:24-27 Jesus answered them [Sadducees], “Isn’t this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God? For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But about the dead, that they are raised; haven’t you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken.”

          The Cleansing of the Temple in Mark 11:15–19, he uses a whip in John 2:13-16. You call it hatred when people disagree with you. What would you call it if somebody flipped your kitchen table?

        • adam
      • adam
    • Annerdr

      Tell her there’s no imprimatur on the book, so it’s not approved by the Catholic Church. Consequently, she should be very skeptical of the claims of the book.

      • Pofarmer

        She’d probably just be skeptical of how I came to know that. A Marian Conference she goes to in St Louis has had a warning to it attached by the church also.

      • Michael Neville

        If there’s no imprimatur then there’s also no nihil obstat.

        • Annerdr

          That, too.